The Anonymous Widower

Powerhouses Clash Offshore California In Bid To Build Wind Farms

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the first paragraph.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is holding a live auction, starting on 6 December, for the rights to develop floating offshore wind energy projects in five areas off the California Coast.

Note, that the auction is live. It could be a new television sport with companies bidding billions, for up to 4.5 GW of leases.

The heavyweights from Europe, who are qualified to bid include BP, EDF, Equinor, Ferrovial, Hexicon, Ideol, Orsted, RWE, Shell, SSE and TotalEnergies.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

Research And Development Agreement Signed For Hydrogen Combustion Trains In US

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2-View.

This is the opening paragraph.

Hydrogen combustion engine-powered trains are set to be at the centre of a collaborative research and development agreement between Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories and Wabtec in a bid to decarbonise US rail.

The US is certainly calling up the heavy brigade in Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratories and Wabtec.

This appears to be the main objective.

It is hoped the team will be able to design train engines that will deliver the same power, range, and cost-effectiveness as current diesel technology.

The article states that there are 25,000 diesel locomotives in the United States, but because of exports to large parts of the world, including the UK, this research could clean up a lot more than just the United States.

The omens are good, in that both Cummins and Rolls-Royce mtu, who are two of the world’s big diesel engine manufacturers have successfully launched hydrogen combustion engines.

 

 

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Should I Get Depressed About A World Ruled By Putin, Trump And Xi?

When I read the reports of the mid-term elections in the United States, Putin’s War in Ukraine and Chairman Xi’s coronation as Emperor for Life, I despair.

As I suspect do many others!

 

November 7, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

National Grid Installs LineVision Sensors To Expand The Capacity Of Existing Power Lines

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from National Grid.

These are four bullet points from the press release.

  • LineVision’s Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) technology trialled for first time in Great Britain following successful deployment on National Grid’s electricity networks in the US.
  • The sensors and data analytics platform will highlight spare capacity on overhead power lines allowing for the integration of more renewable power.
  • Technology has the potential to unlock 0.6GW of additional capacity, enough to power more than 500,000 homes and save £1.4 million in network operating costs per year based on the results from the US networks.
  • Combined with the construction of new infrastructure, the innovative technology forms part of National Grid’s work to upgrade and adapt the electricity network to meet increased demand and help deliver a net zero grid.

In some ways this seems like the sort of story, that could be filed under Too-Good-To-Be-True.

But as a Graduate Control Engineer, I’m willing to give National Grid and LineVision the benefit of the doubt.

  • It appears to be technology proven in the United States.
  • That experience should feed over, once the manuals are translated into the dual English-American form of English.
  • I suspect that applying this technology to interconnectors could increase their capacity.
  • I also think that as we add more storage, power sources or interconnectors to our electricity network, this will open up more savings.
  • As the UK power network gets more complicated, the system should come into its own.

This is an excellent decision by National Grid.

October 20, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The First Of The Cavalry Arrive To Rescue Kwasi Kwarteng

Most commentators think Kwasi Kwarteng is in trouble, but I feel that he has the strength of the mathematics around him.

This press release from BP was released on Wednesday and is entitled UK Offshore Wind: Laying The Groundwork Today.

These two paragraphs outline the work BP are doing to develop wind power in the Irish Sea.

Plans are critical, but it’s putting them into action that counts. As part of our strategy to get wind turbines turning, specialist vessels and crew are out on the Irish Sea undertaking massive seabed survey work. It’s an early but important step on the road to building some of the UK’s biggest offshore wind farms.

 

Once up and running, our Morgan and Mona projects could deliver enough capacity to power 3.4 million homes with clean electricity and help the UK to meet its climate goals. Their near-shore location – around 30 kilometres off the coast of northwest England and north Wales – will allow for lower-cost, more reliable transmission infrastructure, making them a core part of our plans for more secure and lower carbon energy for the UK.

This EnBW-BP infographic describes the project.

 

Note.

  1. BP’s partner is EnBW, who are a publicly-traded German energy company.
  2. There is a project web site.
  3. The press release and the graphic are showing the same numbers.
  4. Morgan and Mona will use proven fixed-foundation wind turbine technology.
  5. The combined site is around 800 km² or a square of under thirty kilometers, so it is only quite small in the context of the Irish Sea.
  6. First operation is given on the web site as 2028.

As BP and enBW have massive financial, engineering and project management resources, I believe they will look to bring the 2028 operation date as far forward as is possible.

If you do the cash flow for a project like this, especially when you have the financial and engineering resources of BP and enBW, the mathematics show that if you can accelerate the installation of the turbines, you will start to have a cashflow earlier and this will finance the debt needed to install the wind farms.

Consider.

  • I believe the 2028 date, is one that BP know they can keep, to satisfy the Stock Market and investors.
  • BP have large cash flows from their profitable oil and gas businesses.
  • BP have probably reserved places in the manufacturing queues for wind turbines, foundations and all the electrical gubbins to connect the turbines to shore.
  • BP want to prove to themselves and sceptics, that they can handle the building of wind farms.
  • The are already lots of wind farms along the North Wales Coast, so I suspect that the problems of building wind farms in the Irish Sea are well known.

I will not speculate on the date that Mona and Morgan are complete, but I very much doubt it will be in 2028.

These are some more thoughts from the BP press release.

What’s Happening And Why?

The purpose of these deep geotechnical investigations, carried out by specialist Geo-data company Fugro, up to 100 metres below the seabed is to determine soil characteristics for foundation design (find out how it’s done in the short film, above). Collecting this data will enable bp and EnBW to build efficient offshore wind farms with the least environmental impact. It is crucial for securing government consents for the projects and defining the structure and location of the individual turbines.

Even thirty kilometres off shore, there needs to be detailed planning permission.

Our Other Offshore Wind Projects

We aim to become a leader in offshore wind and, over the past three years, we’ve built up a pipeline of projects with partners in both the US and UK that have the potential to power more than 5 million homes.

And earlier this year, we agreed to form a partnership with Marubeni to explore an offshore wind development in Japan.

It’s all part of our aim to have 20GW of developed renewable generating capacity by 2025 and 50GW by 2030 – that’s broadly enough to power the needs of 36 million people.

Note.

  1. Their ambitions are high, but then so much of the experience of offshore oil and gas can be applied to offshore wind.
  2. BP has the cashflow from oil and gas to reinvent itself.
  3. Assuming a strike price of £40/MWh and an average capacity factor of 30 %, that is an income of around five billion pounds for starters.
  4. If they added energy storage to the wind farms, there’s even more money to be generated.

As Equinor, Ørsted and SSE have shown, you have to be big in this business and BP aim to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest.

Conclusion

Wind farms like Mona and Morgan, and there are several under development, will create the electricity and revenue, that will come to the rescue of the Chancellor.

As I update this after a busy day, it looks like Jeremy Hunt has inherited KK’s excellent groundwork and mathematics.

 

October 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions To Expand U.S. Offshore Wind Energy

The title of this post is the same as that of this fact sheet from the White House briefing room.

This is the sub-title.

Departments of Energy, Interior, Commerce, and Transportation Launch Initiatives on Floating Offshore Wind to Deploy 15 GW, Power 5 Million Homes, and Lower Costs 70% by 2035.

Some points from the fact sheet.

  • The President set a bold goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy, support 77,000 jobs, and spur private investment up and down the supply chain.
  • Conventional offshore wind turbines can be secured directly to the sea floor in shallow waters near the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • However, deep-water areas that require floating platforms are home to two-thirds of America’s offshore wind energy potential, including along the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine.
  • Globally, only 0.1 GW of floating offshore wind has been deployed to date, compared with over 50 GW of fixed-bottom offshore wind.
  • The Floating Offshore Wind Shot will aim to reduce the costs of floating technologies by more than 70% by 2035, to $45 per megawatt-hour.
  • The Administration will advance lease areas in deep waters in order to deploy 15 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035.

This all seems to be ambitious!

But!

It could be possible that little Scotland installs more floating wind farms before 2035, than the United States.

And what about England, Wales and Northern Ireland?

  • England hasn’t announced any floating wind farm projects, but has around 17 GW of fixed-foundation offshore wind farms under development in the shallower waters along the East and South coasts.
  • In Two Celtic Sea Floating Wind Projects Could Be Delivered By 2028, I looked at prospects for the Celtic Sea between Wales, Ireland and Devon/Cornwall. It is possible that a GW of floating wind could be developed by 2028, out of an ultimate potential of around 50 GW.
  • Northern Ireland is a few years behind England and Scotland and might eventually make a substantial contribution.

But Biden’s aims of a strong supply chain could be helped by Scotland, as several of the floating wind farms in Scotland are proposing to use WindFloat technology from Principle Power, who are a US company. The Principle Power website has an explanatory video on the home page.

 

September 16, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cummins Fuel Cell Technology Powers Coradia iLint Fleet In Germany

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Green Car Congress.

This is the first paragraph.

Cummins is powering the world’s first fleet of hydrogen trains in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, Germany. The Alstom Coradia iLint trains (earlier post) are outfitted with Cummins fuel cell systems and will run on the world’s first 100%-hydrogen train route in passenger operation. The first zero-emissions passenger trains in the 14-train fleet arrived in mid-summer.

I rode  the prototype in March 2019 and wrote My First Ride In An Alstom Coradia iLint.

I took this picture at the time.

Note.

  1. The new fleet seem to have a slightly different front end with a snow plough, and a new colour scheme.
  2. According to the article, the Cummins fuel cell systems were assembled in Germany.

I have a few thoughts.

Cummins Fuel Cells

I must admit, I was a bit surprised to see that Cummins fuel cells are being used, as most other companies seem to be using Ballard.

But, having worked with Cummins on diesel engine testing and seen their thoroughness, I’m sure that their fuel cells will do a good job.

Is The Cummins Choice About Marketing?

Consider.

  • Alstom has manufactured or assembled trains for the US market at Hornell, New York.
  • Cummins is a large United States company.
  • United States and Canadian railways are standard gauge, like most of Europe.
  • United States and Canadian railways have a lot of track mileage without electrification.
  • United States and Canadian railways use right hand running as does Germany.
  • The Coradia iLint doesn’t need any electrification.
  • The Coradia iLint has a range of 600–800 kilometres (370–500 mi) on a full tank of hydrogen.

I suspect that a German-specification, Coradia iLint might be possible to run in the United States and Canada, with only a different interior and signage.

If you are an Alstom train salesman in the United States, selling a commuter train to American cities and transit authorities, must be easier if the train has a substantial United States content.

I don’t think Cummins will be worried that the smart new train has their fuel cells, as it might help convert truck, van and car drivers to Cummins hydrogen technology.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn, that Alstom got a premium deal from Cummins.

Are Hydrogen-Powered Trains Suited To North America?

Consider.

  • There is a lot of track without electrification.
  • Distances are long, which makes electrification expensive.
  • Providing hydrogen for trains should be no more difficult than in Europe.
  • In my experience hydrogen trains are a better passenger experience than diesel, in terms of noise and vibration.

I suspect that Alstom/Cummins could sell a lot of hydrogen-powered trains in the North America.

 

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Australian Tycoon With Designs On U.S. Coal Mines

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on Politico.

The article is a must-read, as it is an interview with Andrew Forrest about his very strong views on the future of the coal industry in the United States.

This is a typical question from the interview and Forrest’s forthright answer.

Biden put jobs at the center of his climate messaging. Does the messenger actually need to be someone with a track record of creating jobs?

It’s a bloody good point. I think I can deliver that message much stronger, because I’m not a politician. I’m not looking for votes, this is the hardcore reality.

August 11, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian Mining Billionaire Touts A Green Revolution In U.S. Coal Country — With Skepticism Trailing Close Behind

The title of this post, is the same as this article on Forbes.

It is a definite must-read about Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, making one of the most difficult hydrogen pitches in the world, to coal miners in West Virginia.

Perhaps we need Mr Forrest to convince the RMT, that their views are wrong and so nineteenth century.

June 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aussie Billionaire Aims To Mine $8bn US Fund For Coal-To-Hydrogen Industrial Conversion

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Recharge.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Twiggy Forrest-owned Fortescue’s project to tap renewable energy on Washington state grid – where surplus hydroelectric power usually exported to Canada and western seaboard – for clean hydrogen production at Centralia site.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), owned by Australian billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, is planning to convert a former coal mine in US state of Washington into a green hydrogen production facility, using funds it hopes to win from the federal government’s $8bn H2 hub fund, the company said on Friday.

These are some other points about FFI’s plans.

  • A former coal mine will be converted into a green hydrogen production facility.
  • The facility will be located at Industrial Park at TransAlta.
  • It will use 300 MW of renewable electricity.
  • Production of green hydrogen will be 110 tonnes per day or 40,000 tonnes per year.

Hopefully, they will have Federal Funds to support the development.

The article also details other hydrogen developments in the United States, with hydrogen hubs earmarked for New England, Midwest, West Virginia and Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

It certainly looks that the United States is getting serious about hydrogen.

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | 2 Comments